Popular MIT Professor Has Online Programs Pulled After Sexual Harassment Charge


An investigation has found that common, now-retired MIT professor Walter Lewin sexually harassed at least a single female pupil on the internet.

The 78-yr-previous retired from the college in 2008 and taught his last on-line course in 2013.  Despite this, administrators at the college are tough at operate erasing hyperlinks to his online courses to cease Lewin from contacting any other students.  In addition, his lectures, which drew an audience of all around 10,000 viewers a day, have been deleted from the schooling platform edX as properly as from the school’s OpenCourseWare platform.

A press release announced the investigation came following a female pupil filed a complaint in October.  While it is unknown exactly when she participated in his course, she does state that the harassment began whilst she was taking the class.  She goes on to name other students who were subjected to inappropriate habits.  Upon reading correspondence between Lewin and numerous females, the university concluded that sexual harassment had occurred.

Numerous of his common lectures even now continue to be obtainable on-line, in spite of getting pulled from several sources by the school.  A video featuring Lewin demonstrating the forces at play in a spinning wheel was identified on YouTube with nearly two million views.  Another video displaying the professor beating a pupil with cat fur in a demonstration of electrical power has about one.3 million views.  Still other people are available featuring hundreds of thousands of views.

Lewin became increasingly well-known online through the circulation of his movies, according to Andy Rosen for The Boston Globe.  According to a 2007 New York Instances report, Lewin was “part of a new generation of academic stars who hold forth in cyberspace.”

“Professor Lewin delivers his lectures with the panache of Julia Youngster bringing French cooking to amateurs and the zany theatricality of YouTube’s greatest hits,” the story said.

And indeed, Lewin did have a brush with fame as he manufactured an look on season 3 of the Martha Stewart Show riding a bicycle powered by fire extinguishers.

Even so, all that has transformed.  Lewin was reportedly asked to not speak to any MIT college students or online learners with the start off of the investigation carried out by Professor Peter Fisher, head of the school’s physics department.

The investigation located that Lewin had “violated the Institute’s policy on sexual harassment” and a choice was produced to indefinitely take away his lectures from the school’s OpenCourseWare as nicely as from edX and MITx, “in the curiosity of avoiding any additional inappropriate habits.”

In a statement, MIT President L. Rafael Reif mentioned:

College students location tremendous believe in in their teachers. Deserving that trust is among our most fundamental obligations. We should consider the greatest care that everybody who comes to us for expertise and instruction, whether or not in classrooms or online, can count on MIT as a protected and respectful location to understand.

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